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- Illinois home prices climb 3.7 percent in December
- Supreme Court and gay marriage — U of I expert weighs in
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- First large U.S. delegation to visit Cuba since opening of relations
- Merger complete for Illinois Bank & Trust, Galena State Bank
- Crusader welcomes Dr. Maria Lozano Vazquez
Prep Football Preview: Lantz has skills, leadership to lead East to playoffs
By Matt Nestor
Prep Sports Reporter
The 2010 NIC-10 season was a quarterback-heavy league. There was Frank Cimino and Lamont Toney at Boylan, Chase Robinson at Hononegah, Brandon Rogers at Harlem, Tony Tindle, Cody Bell, Troy Vandenbroek, Alex Bennett and Joe Ward.
All the NIC-10 quarterbacks performed well, led their team, and put up some big numbers along the way.
Lost in the shuffle last season was quarterback Andrew Lantz of East.
The E-Rabs were mired in a 2-7 season last year, and it was hard to find a bright point when looking at the record. But East was competitive in every game, even costing themselves a few games with mistakes.
The reason for the competitiveness was an improved offense in a new system. And the leader of that offense was Lantz.
“He’s an incredible leader,” Head Coach Jeremy Warren said. “The kids follow him. He’s a smart kid, he’s a three-sport athlete, he does everything you could want him to do.”
Lantz is more than just a leader on his team. He is also a star. As a junior, the quarterback put up big numbers, passing for more than 900 yards and running for more than 300 yards as a dual threat.
With a big, experienced offensive line, as well as a lot of returning skill position players around him, he is poised for an even bigger year as a senior. Warren says his teammates are going to be expecting it from him.
“He’s got to have a huge year for us,” Warren said. “He’s one of the more experienced kids coming back in the conference. We need him to be consistent in the passing game. We need him to run, manage the game, not turn the ball over and be smart.”
Lantz, however, is not concerned with stats or his performance. All he is trying to do is be a good example for his teammates and get his team to five wins.
“Leadership and experience on the field,” Lantz said of his role on the team. “I know how the game needs to be played, and I’m just trying to lead my team to the playoffs.”
From the Aug. 24-30, 2011, issue